If you’ve worked in HR for long, you’ve certainly heard many “creative” excuses for being late or calling in sick.

While on the topic of work excuses – The Washington Post used to run an enjoyable reader participation column called the Style Invitational. Several years ago – April 1994, to be exact – they ran a column in which they invited readers to submit their suggestions for the best excuses to miss a day of work. The results were pretty funny. We can’t locate the exact archive online, but we had kept a copy, which we pass along for your amusement.

Best excuses to miss a day of work

  • If it is all the same to you, I won’t be coming in to work. The voices told me to clean all the guns today.
  • When I got up this morning I took two Ex-Lax in addition to my Prozac. I can’t get off the john, but I feel good about it.
  • I set half the clocks in my house ahead an hour and the other half back an hour Saturday and spent 18 hours in some kind of space-time continuum loop, reliving Sunday (right up until the explosion). I was able to exit the loop only by reversing the polarity of the power source exactly e*log(pi) clocks in the house while simultaneously rapping my dog on the snout with a rolled up Times. Accordingly, I will be in late, or early.
  • My stigmata’s acting up.
  • I can’t come in to work today because I’ll be stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work. OK?
  • I have a rare case of 48-hour projectile leprosy, but I know we have that deadline to meet…
  • I am stuck in the blood pressure machine down at the Food Giant.
  • Yes, I seem to have contracted some attention-deficit disorder and, hey, how about them Hoyas, huh? So, I won’t be able to, yes, could I help you? No, no, I’ll be sticking with Sprint, but thank you for calling.
  • Constipation has made me a walking time bomb.
  • I just found out that I was switched at birth. Legally, I shouldn’t come to work knowing my employee records may now contain false information.
  • The psychiatrist said it was an excellent session. He even gave me this jaw restraint so I won’t bite things when I am startled.
  • The dog ate my car keys. We’re going to hitchhike to the vet.
  • My mother-in-law has come back as one of the Undead and we must track her to her coffin to drive a stake through her heart and give her eternal peace. One day should do it.
  • I am converting my calendar from Julian to Gregorian.
  • I am extremely sensitive to a rise in the interest rates.
  • I can’t come to work today because the EPA has determined that my house is completely surrounded by wetlands and I have to arrange for helicopter transportation.
  • I prefer to remain an enigma.
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